Releasing Stigma One Song At a Time

Montreal Band Pin Up to Release Second EP

Samantha Martel and Collin Steinz of Pin Up band. Photo Franca G. Mignacca

Panic attacks and pop music are not things that you would normally associate with each other.

For Montreal-based band Pin Up, combining the subjects of anxiety and eating disorders with light and energetic pop sounds somehow works.

Pin Up is led by Samantha Martel on vocals and Collin Steinz on bass. The duo have a few other musicians on rotation. These interchangeable bandmates depend on where the band plays, or whether the band is putting on a live performance or recording in a studio.

They started the band nearly five years ago, while Steinz and Martel were dating—they are now married. To them, working with each other is like second nature.

“Honestly, it’s quite easy. I guess some people think that it could be hard because artistically it’s so easy to hurt someone’s feelings and to step on toes especially when you’re writing,” Martel said. “You have to be open to communicating, but it’s easy when you share a passion.”

Though they both balance day jobs with their musical careers, their ultimate goal is to live off their music.

“I think when you wake up in the morning and that’s all you think about, there’s nothing else that you should be doing […] there should be nothing that should stop you from going to pursue it,” explained Martel.

When writing their music, Martel and Steinz sometimes take inspiration from personal experiences. Sometimes they write what comes to them naturally. “Isn’t an idea a super weird thing to think about?” Steinz asked. “It’s like it’s recycled. It comes from the outside world, goes through your heart and mind and then comes out in the form of something else.”

Lately, Steinz blames the novel Moby Dick for his new way of thinking, having recently delved into the book.

Martel and Steinz have been suffering from anxiety and panic disorders from a young age. As they grow older, they have found new methods of coping. Through their musical talent, they express the fears and struggles that come with their anxiety. In producing fun pop sounds, the duo aim to cheer up and relax their listeners, especially those trying to overcome their own issues.

“I think it’s important for us to keep our music honest. I think that’s going to be the easiest way that people can relate to music is if they feel they’ve been through the same thing, and we’re speaking about it openly and honestly.” —Samantha Martel

“I think it’s important for us to keep our music honest,” said Martel. “I think that’s going to be the easiest way that people can relate to music is if they feel they’ve been through the same thing and we’re speaking about it openly and honestly.” People shouldn’t have to feel afraid of expressing their struggles and emotions, she added, and that she hopes that their music can help end the stigma on mental illness.

They are currently working on their second EP, but have decided to do things a little differently this time around. Rather than releasing all five songs at once, they have opted to release them one at a time, each accompanied by a video.

They released their first single, “End of the Night” earlier this month. Pressed for time, they did the photo shoot for the album cover themselves, learning techniques through YouTube and with the help of their graphic designer.

They plan on releasing another song from the EP once every three to four months. All songs will be compiled into a full EP come 2018.

“It has more of an impact and more of a reach and it seems to kind of be the thing to do nowadays. Social media happens so fast. We’ve already done that, we’ve released a five song EP, ” Steinz explained. “People like it for a week and then they forget about it,” they said in unison.

“End of the Night” explores life on the road, encouraging fellow musicians not to get discouraged with the disappointments and struggles they may face in the early stages of their career. It is a reminder for everyone to have fun above all.

Pin Up // April 7 at 7:30 p.m. // Petit Campus (57 Prince-Arthur E.) // $11.75